Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
Enjoy the archives. . .

Friday, June 18, 2004

Since Baseball Widow has moved to the weekly format, she has plenty of time to think about her posts. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of post ideas float in and out of her brain before she has time to blog them. Yes, yes, Baseball Widow could jot them down the old fashioned way, but who wants to kill a tree when you can burn fossil fuels by using extra electricity? So, bear with me as I do my best to address some recent areas of thought.

--We Ain't Talking about Sandwiches, Either
Baseball Widow has gotten lots of great suggestions for the heroes/villains matchup. One of my favorites is the idea that Doc Ock, who possesses the potential to be a great pitcher, might not be the best choice simply because his balk rate would be astronomical. (Not that lack of playing potential has ever stopped Baseball Widow from signing someone. . .) Baseball Widow actually thinks the nickname would be the hardest thing to overcome. Can you say "Doc 'the Balk' Ock" without swallowing your tongue?

--Sight for Sore Eyes
The Eye-Candies have dropped Jose Reyes for Braves cutie Nick Green. Baseball Widow is sure that there are other hot prospects out there, but since she only watches Braves games, her pool is limited. Baseball Widow is seriously considering dropping Jaret Wright, though. He looked rough last time up, and I'm not talking about his pitching.

--Can you believe Terrence Moore wasn't included?
Picked up The Best American Sports Writing, 2003. In a word, it's not. Many stories concern baseball, but most of the selections are so overwrought that the reading can hardly be called pleasurable. Take, for instance, Gary Smith's "The Ball," as originally published in SI. The "American Story" behind the lawsuit over Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball contains lines like, "Their eyes met, a few minutes before their fates did." At this point, Baseball Widow checked the cover of the book for a picture of Fabio.

Of course, almost all baseball writing suffers from emotional excess, so leave it to David Grann to tell just the facts in "Baseball Without Metaphor," a story that purports to reveal the "real" Barry Bonds, one who understands baseball is a business. So Barry Bonds thinks baseball is a business. Imagine if A-Rod thought that way: he could stand to make some serious money. . .

Look, Barry Bonds isn't a new breed of player; Honus Wagner was in it for the money, and he didn't care to be an idol. Even assuming that Bonds's screw-the-media mentality is radically different from that of other players, the only thing new about Bonds's behavior is his acknowledgement that he crafts a character who takes on a life of his own, independent from the "real" Barry. It's soap opera Barry--the one the audience loves to hate.

Unfortunately, for all his lack of metaphor, Grann still gets it wrong. The issue isn't really an overabundance of metaphors in baseball, it's an underrefined description of baseball as a microcosm. Baseball Widow will let you ponder that for a week.

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